Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth every morning and night doesn’t guarantee you’re giving your mouth all the attention it needs. Even a regular oral hygiene routine could be leaving gaps if you engage in a few not-so-great habits with your time at the sink. By understanding proper brushing technique and ensuring you have the right tools in your cabinet you can make sure you have all of your bases covered when pursuing a more thorough cleaning. Consider these dental hygiene tips to help you take your care routine to the next level.

Proper Brushing Technique

A quick wash of your bristles isn’t enough to banish leftover food particles and polish your teeth. Instead, use a technique echoed by the American Dental Association (ADA): Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short back and forth strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth. Then, hold the brush vertically and use several shorter strokes to focus on the backs of your teeth of the front anterior teeth where plaque builds up often.

Brushing Frequency and Duration

Many people brush regularly, but simply don’t brush enough for their teeth to stay clean. The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily. Having trouble gauging your routine for this duration? Try listening to a short song, cue up a two-minute YouTube video or set a timer on your phone to give yourself the time you need to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Always look for a brush whose head and bristles are small enough to reach into the crevices of your molars, where food debris can hide after you eat.

Dental Flossing

Bacterial plaque-induced gingivitis is considered the most common oral disease and the most frequent type of periodontal disease. Tooth brushing is the most widely used method of mechanical plaque removal however its effectiveness in removing plaque from the in-between areas of the teeth is questionable.

Therefore, cleaning between the teeth is recognized as an important part of maintaining proper gum health and dental floss, is the best device for the job.

Furthermore, by removing plaque from between teeth, you are also decreasing your chances of developing cavities in these areas as plaque is an acidic substance that can soften the enamel if left in contact with the tooth too long, which eventually turns into a cavity.


Mouthwash (sometimes called, mouth rinse) have active ingredients intended to help control or reduce conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay. These solutions are by no means a replacement for daily brushing and flossing but can help complement a person’s daily oral hygiene routine.

Change Your Brush

Bristles deteriorate with time and usage, so if you’re using the same toothbrush beyond a few months, you may not be getting the best clean anymore. Rather, make a point of getting a new brush every three to four months – or at your semiannual dental checkup.


Hungry for a midnight snack? Brushing well may clear your teeth of bacteria and food particles, but if you eat a snack afterward, you’ll need to brush again before bed. Having a snack before sleep (without brushing) can allow food particles and sugar to remain on your teeth for too long, providing fuel for bacteria that feeds on it.

Fluoride Toothpastes

To help prevent tooth decay, fluoride toothpastes and rinses are available for purchase. Your dentist can provide professional fluoride products such as foams and varnishes following your dental hygiene visit.

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